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Posts tagged Fires

Fires Near Mouth of Nelson River, Canada

57.7N 93.9W

June 28th, 2013 Category: Fires, Rivers MODISTerra

Canada – June 28th, 2013

Plumes of smoke from several fires near the Hudson Bay, in the province of Manitoba, Canada, waft towards the southwest, away from the bay. In the bay itself, ice can be seen melting as summer begins, while sediments from the Nelson River enter in the lower right quadrant.

Climate Change Fuelling Colorado Wildfires – June 27th, 2013

38.0N 108W

June 28th, 2013 Category: Climate Change, Fires, Image of the day VIIRSSuomi-NPP

USA – June 26th, 2013

Smoke billows forth from wildfires blazing in the forests of the Rocky Mountains, in the state of Colorado, USA. These fires have already consumed 125 square miles and are zero percent contained.

What’s propelling these fires are dry conditions made worse by strong winds and an ongoing spruce-beetle infestation. The beetles tunnel under bark, laying eggs that will eventually kill trees. Scientists have reached a consensus that climate change is to blame:

North America is witnessing the largest pine-beetle epidemic in recorded history. From Canada’s Yukon Territory to New Mexico, pine trees by the hundreds of millions are succumbing to a fungus that the beetles carry. The pine needles of infected trees first turn a violent red, then they fall, and, finally, the dead tree topples over. Year by year, communities have watched a scourge advance across mountainsides and through neighborhoods, trees turning from green to red to gray. The beetles now attack 12 pine species, from the high-elevation whitebark pine to the lower-elevation ponderosa and piñon. The blight has devastated 3.3 million acres in Colorado alone since the 1990s.

Beetles kill, die off, and regenerate, all of which is part of a lodgepole pine forest’s natural life cycle. But human activity helped set the stage for the current epidemic. Decades of fire suppression have left the West with dense stands of vulnerable, elderly trees. Climate has also played a role. Frigid winters that usually kill the beetles have become, over the past 20 years, the exception rather than the rule. Earlier snowmelt and longer summers have altered the beetles’ range and life cycle; they now attack pines at higher altitudes and latitudes, and they reproduce twice a year instead of once. Earlier springs and a series of dry years have also weakened trees, turning them into ideal beetle food (click here for more information).

Thick Smoke Across Central Africa

6S 29.5E

June 27th, 2013 Category: Fires MODISTerra

DRC, Tanzania, Zambia – June 26th, 2013

Red and yellow markers indicate the locations of hundreds of fires burning in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania and Zambia, in central Africa in late June. Smoke from the fires, which were probably set to manage land, creates a hazy veil across the image. While fire helps enhance crops and grasses for pasture, this air quality-degrading smoke can be dangerous to human and animal health.

Fires West of Lake Tanganyika, DRC and Tanzania – June 26th, 2013

7.7S 29.0E

June 26th, 2013 Category: Fires, Image of the day MODISAqua

DRC, Tanzania, Zambia – June 26th, 2013

Dozens of fires are burning in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania and Zambia, in central Africa in late June. The fires, most of which are burning in grass or cropland, are indicated by red markers. Separating the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Tanzania is the large Lake Tanganyika. More smoke is visible west of the lake than to its east.

Fires West of Hudson Bay, Canada – June 25th, 2013

57.7N 95.2W

June 25th, 2013 Category: Fires, Image of the day MODISAqua

Canada – June 25th, 2013

Several wildfires can be seen burning west of the Hudson Bay, in Manitoba and Nunavut, Canada. The fires are releasing thick plumes of white smoke that are being carried northwest by winds. Visible releasing sediments into the Hudson Bay is the Nelson River, which has a mean discharge of 2,370 cubic metres per second (84,000 cu ft/s).

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